The Aboriginal Identity
How do you accept your identity? The Aboriginal Identity by Jeremy Ratt challenges this question through the eyes of the main character. Set in Kelowna, the short story follows the journey of young Jeremy, a boy born into an identity dissociation. Jeremy struggles for his sanity in an unfair and unaccepting society. Many readers can relate to the concept of the uncertainty of who they are. Yet, The Aboriginal Identity differs from other narratives in that it involves the feeling of estrangement in society and showcases a subjective topic. Ratt writes to make the reader think and question all aspects of the short story. Throughout the story, Ratt describes the feeling of alienation to show how the loss of identity can tear one away from their culture but, help find growth in conflict.
Ratt is confused about where his place in society due to the fact, he feels like his outside identity does not match his inside identity. As a young boy, [he] had the pale skin of a white boy, but [he] was raised in a primarily Aboriginal setting (Ratt 61). The imagery in this scene serves to enhance the effect that Ratt expects his readers to gather from the text. His pale skin seems to be the significant thing that represents him to be like the other children in his community, white children. He was raised in a society where everyone must look the same or they will stand out and not be accepted by society. In Jeremy's mind he is thinking, because I don't fit into the stereotypes, I feel invisible and not a part of a community.
As Jeremy got older, he realized that with more and more birthday candles being placed on the cake, [he] developed an askew perspective of [his] own people and the people around [his] people (60) this represents a boy growing up and starting to feel disconnected to both himself and his community. The world around him determined his place in society, he said: I have witnessed an ongoing division of opinions when it applies to the image of First Nations people from the eyes of non-Native people (60). Jeremy was lost in society and was scared to express his identity. It is shocking how much one depends on the opinion of others to identify themselves; this illustrates that a person's opinion can change how one thinks of themselv...